The Kurdish community in Paris, led by women, held a vigil on Wednesday to commemorate the six Kurdish activists who were killed in two massacres in the French capital a decade apart, daily Yeni Yaşam reported.
One of the victims of the massacre on 23 December, activist Emine Kaya (also known as Evîn Goyî), was on the preparation committee for the vigil, which would have been in the memory of three Kurdish women killed on 9 January 2013.
Kaya “wanted to organise a march to avenge Sara, Rojbin and Ronahi on the 10th anniversary of the first Paris massacre,” European Kurdish Women’s Movement (TJK-E) Foreign Relations Spokeswoman Melike Yaşar said at the vigil. “We want to realise Heval Evîn’s dream.”
Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) founding member Sakine Cansız (Sara), youth movement member Leyla Şaylemez (Ronahi), and Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) Representative Fidan Doğan (Rojbin) were killed in the Kurdish Information Centre on 9 January 2013 by a Turkish national who had ties with Turkey’s intelligence service.
A decade later, almost to the day, Emine Kaya, Mîr Perwer and Abdurrahman Kızıl were killed in the Ahmet Kaya Kurdish Cultural Centre in the 10th arrondissement. While Kurds demand a deeper investigation into possible radicalisation of the shooter, 69-year-old William Malet, French authorities treat the incident as a racially motivated attack based on Malet’s history of anti-immigrant attacks.
Wednesday saw the Kurdish community form a human chain between the two murder sites. Tenth Arrondissement Mayor Alexandra Cordebard spoke at the Ahmet Kaya Cultural Centre end of the chain and said, “We share your grief, and your rage.”
“We know that Kurds are our allies for the protection of democracy globally. I know that we are in Kurds’ debt, and we know that they have a share in our peace in France, Paris and Europe. We share many fundamental values and a vision for an equal world, as well as a vision for democracy,” Mayor Cordebard told mourners.
“This was not an attack based on racism. We know it was a political massacre. Heval Evîn was killed because she fought to bring to life the slogan, Jin Jiyan Azadi,” Yaşar said.
Solidarity with Kurds has advanced greatly in the past decade, France-Kurdistan Friendship Association Chairwoman Sylvie Jan said.
“Evîn Goyî’s spirit stands with us today,” TJK-E’s Sara Marcha said.
Kara/Goyî had fought against the Islamic State in Syria and worked on women’s empowerment projects in Kurdish-held Syrian territory. She continued her organising and community work in Paris, where she moved for treatment for an injury.